By Jade Johnston
If you have been following our blog, then don’t panic! We have not left Australia yet! We are simply digging into the archives of our experiences and decided to bring you this post about Ireland.
If I were to list the top two things that pop into my head when I think of Ireland, it would have to be drinking and potatoes. (I know, what stereotypes!). And when it comes to the drinking, almost everyone will think of two more things – Guinness and Jameson. How could you not? They are only Ireland’s two more popular alcoholic drinks which can be found in pretty much every Irish bar (possibly every bar full stop) all over the world.
I didn’t plan to only see Dublin when I went to Ireland. I like to travel slow and see as much of a region as possible. But in this instance, the only way to fly cheaply (good ole’ Ryan Air) from Leeds in England to Belgium, was through Dublin. Hence the reason I only spent a weekend there.
I love brewery and distillery tours – a strange phenomenon considering that I am not a big drinker. And even stranger since anyone who has done more than one of these tours knows – they are pretty much all exactly the same.
Well actually, that is completely wrong!
Although many brewery and distillery tours can be very similar, there are some which really stand out. And conveniently they are both located in Dublin - I bet you can guess which ones they are!
The Guinness experience is located in the original brewery, although it is no longer a functioning brewery. It is now Dublin’s most popular tourist destination, and it is destined to be so for many more years to come! The founder, Arthur Guinness struck real estate gold when he leased the building for 9,000 years at 45 GBP per year – which means they are paying pennies for the building until the lease expires in 10, 759.
The factory has been converted into a mecca of Guinness knowledge – from the brewing process itself, to even a collection of early advertising and Guinness media – and of course, a bar! (Guess what is on tap?) You can wander through the complex at your own pace – allowing you to either learn as much as you can about the black gold, or just leg it to the bar!
Although your 14.40 Euros only, in theory, guarantees you one pint of Guinness from the top floor bar – in reality there are amble opportunities to taste test the famous stout all throughout the complex.
Now, if you are like me, and a weak drinker, then you might want to do what I did and wait until the next day to visit the home of the famous Irish whisky – Jameson.
The old Jameson factory is another of Dublin’s top visitor attractions and a must for anyone who loves Whisky. This factory is also no longer a working factory, but has been converted entirely into a visitor centre. The Jameson factory differs from the Guinness factory not only in size (it is much smaller) but also in level of interaction. The entire experience is guided, meaning you can ask as many questions as you like to some whisky experts.
Of course, like the Guinness factory, the Jameson factory also guarantees you a free drink with your 13 Euro ticket. But if you are savvy, you will be quick to put your hand up when they ask for volunteers.
The volunteers that they select are for a whisky tasting panel, where you get to taste several whiskys from all around the world and compare them to Jameson. But make sure you know the right answer when they ask you which one was best! My friend Mel who I travelled with to Ireland was the more adventurous one, and was of course immediately selected for the whisky tasting panel.
Of course, there are many other things to see and do during your time in Dublin, but if you are a lover of whisky and beer, them make sure you visit at least one of these iconic Irish institutions.
This post has been brought to you by InsureandGo Ireland